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Horses to watch at the Newmarket Craven meeting


Mark Howard, Racing TV pundit and author of Ahead On The Flat as well as One Jump Ahead, identifies a handful of horses to watch at Craven’s meeting this week.

Foxtrot (Roger Varian)

4.10 Newmarket, Tuesday – bet365 European Breeders’ Fund Maiden Fillies’ Stakes

Cheveley Park Stud have a strong three-year-old squad for the new campaign led by the undefeated Inspiral. The Newmarket-based operation has six Classic generation horses in training with Roger Varian, including the unreleased FOXTROT.

A filly from Le Havre, she is a half-sister to 97-ranked Bashkirova, who won three of four for William Haggas last season. Unable to race as a juvenile due to a slight setback, she pleased her trainer during the winter and is considered “a very fine filly”. She was declared to make her maiden debut in the one mile fillies on Tuesday (4.10).

The Carlburg Stables team won the same event four years ago with Listed winner Qazyna. Sea of ​​Class, Irish Oaks and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe runners-up, also made their racecourse debut in the Second Division of the same event that year.

Expect a bold performance on her Rowley Mile debut this week before moving on to better things.

Educator (William Haggas)

4.45 Newmarket, Tuesday – bet365 Handicap

The three-year ten-stay handicap that concludes proceedings on Tuesday (4.45) has been disputed by the likes of Bronze Cannon and Doctor Fremantle (2008), Wigmore Hall (2010), Main Sequence (2012), Old Persian (2018 ) and, more recently, Mohaafeth (2021). The last named is trained by William Haggas and the boss of Somerville Lodge will be represented this time by the progressive EDUCATOR.

Rated 85, the son of Deep Impact is out of a Listed Diploma winner and, after finishing second at Goodwood in September, he did better less than three weeks later at Haydock. A neck scorer of the rated 83 and new stablemate Asean Legend, the form received a nice boost last week when the third Savvy Victory was hacked at Pontefract.

Equipped with cheekbones on this occasion, the headgear was left out for its reappearance. The increased travel should suit and his manager is already eyeing the precious ten furlong handicap at Epsom on Derby Day (June 4) as part of its owner’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

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Ikhtiraaq (Sir Michael Stoute)

4.45 Newmarket, Wednesday – Best odds guaranteed at bet365 Hanicap

It will be interesting to see what Sir Michael Stoute can achieve with all three races IKHTIRAAQ this term.

Entering the three-year-old one-mile handicap on Wednesday (4.45), the son of Invincible Spirit raced for Owen Burrows as a juvenile runner-up in Salisbury and Chelmsford before winning in the third time to ask over seven furlongs to Leicester in October.

Winner of the neck of the well-regarded Akhu Najla, it was then sold for 220,000 gns a fortnight later as part of Shadwell’s scatter. An opening score of 79 doesn’t look hard and, being the half-brother of a ten furlong winner, the newest signing to the Freemason Lodge stable is expected to improve even further this week.

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Reigning Dynasty (Charlie Appleby)

2.25 Newmarket, Wednesday – bet365 Wood Ditton Maiden Stakes

Champion trainer Charlie Appleby entered four horses in the Wood Ditton Stakes on Wednesday (2.25) and hopefully DYNASTY TO REIGN try his luck.

Half-brother to the aforementioned Old Persian, a two-time Group 1 winner for the same connections, he would have shown himself well in his work and would have been entered in the Epsom Derby and the Paris Grand Prix.

A colt by Night of Thunder, he also has the option of making his first public appearance in the Novice Stakes ten stadiums later on the same map (4.10). While he is expected to give a bold account over a mile, his breeding suggests he will be even better over longer distances.

Twilight Calls (Henry Candy)

4:45 p.m. Newmarket, Thursday – Prize promise on bet365 Handicap

DUSK CALLS is a horse I reported on sportinglife.com after he raced at Goodwood last summer. Henry Candy’s charge might only finish sixth in a precious five and a half furlongs handicap at York’s Ebor Festival next time, but I remain convinced he has plenty more to offer.

Formed during the winter, he wants five stages in fast ground and should have his optimal conditions in the final on Thursday (4.45).

Unexposed to the minimum trip, the son of Twilight Son won on the July course last year and scored for the first time at Doncaster last season confirming he is fine. Ranked 94, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cheveley Park Stud-owned gelding mix it up in Pattern racing at some point in 2022.

Forward on the flatwhich includes exclusive interviews with Andrew Balding, Ralph Beckett, George Boughey, Michael Dods, Tim Easterby, James Ferguson, William Haggas, Kevin Ryan and Roger Varian, can be purchased for £10.99 (including postage) from www.mhpublications.co.uk

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